WASHINGTON—The Justice Department announced 15 indictments against members of one of Mexico’s largest drug cartels on Oct. 16.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled the charges against members of Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, or CJNG, which is accused of trafficking tons of cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl-laced heroin into the U.S.
The announcement comes a day after Sessions named the cartel one of the top five transnational criminal organizations.
Investigators believe the cartel brings about five tons of cocaine and five tons of methamphetamine into the U.S. from Mexico each month, Sessions said. The 15 indictments charge a total of 45 of the cartel’s leaders, financers, transporters and suppliers.
“Every day, these cartels are taking advantage of our porous Southern border to move and push their illegal drugs for large profits – expanding suffering and death along the way,” Sessions said at a news conference.
Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, who authorities say is the cartel’s kingpin and is also known as “El Mencho,” is charged in three of the indictments but remains a fugitive. The U.S. is offering a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest.
His son, Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, who prosecutors say served as the cartel’s second-in-command until he was arrested by Mexican authorities in 2015, is also charged in two of the indictments.
Officials believe the cartel has influence in 75 percent of Mexican states. The cartel also operates across the U.S., and in Europe, Asia, and Australia, according to prosecutors.
“Every single day the cartels cross our borders, disrespect our sovereignty, and deal poison, and death to Americans all across our country,” Sessions said. “They are relentless. They will not let up until they are stopped.”
By Michael Balsamo